Mark Crowley
Mark Crowley is a software developer and machine learning researcher. Most of his blogs here on Canadian politics and democratic reform are cross-posts from Pop The Stack. He also maintains the @democracyreform twitter account, a feed of news and great Canadian Bloggers who support improving Canada's democratic processes.

Mark writes on how Computer Science can help to understand the modern world at Computationally Thinking. He also contributes to the new Computational Sustainability Blog which covers research and news in the burgeoning field of Computational Sustainability.

The best way to contact mark is on twitter or google+.

Entries by Mark Crowley

Ranked Ballots Would Make Voting for the Lesser Evil Much Easier

(7) Comments | Posted September 14, 2014 | 9:49 PM

So we finally know exactly who will be on the ballot for mayor of our quiet little town of Toronto. It's not who we expected, which isn't surprising in a strange way, but it is done.

In a sane world the municipal campaign wouldn't start until now. Six weeks is...

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Toronto Is So Much More Than the Core

(8) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 1:09 AM

Marcus McGee makes a nice attempt at an ode to Toronto as opposed to the idea of Ford Nation: "Toronto isn't Rob Ford. Toronto is more than that." Unfortunately, I think he missed the point of why there is dissatisfaction in some parts of the city. All his anecdotes...

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Rob Ford Wasted All His Sincerity Wishing He Could Change the Past

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2013 | 7:10 AM

Rob Ford spoke to the media twice Tuesday -- twice!

The first time he admitted that yes, he had in fact smoked crack in the past but he doesn't really remember it (which is why he wants to see that video).

The second appearance seemed on the surface to...

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Who Ever Said Canadian Politics Were Dull?

(3) Comments | Posted November 28, 2012 | 4:19 PM

What an exciting time to be a political addict in Canada. Who says Canadian politics is boring? People who aren't paying attention, that's who. At least four exciting things happened this week. Yes, four.

First, the Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, was found in violation of the Conflict of Interest act and...

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The Case for Strategic Voting in Calgary's By-Election

(9) Comments | Posted November 21, 2012 | 11:00 PM

So in case you hadn't heard there is a by-election coming up on Thursday, three in fact, and the polls look interesting.  The most exciting is the by-election in Calgary Centre where polls indicate a three-way race between the Conservatives, the Liberals and (deep breath) the Green Party.

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Canada's Latest Shotgun Commitment to China

(18) Comments | Posted October 29, 2012 | 5:00 PM

This Thursday a new treaty is due to come into effect between Canada and China without debate or public discussion. It is called an Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) with China. The basic idea for it is that our companies, both resource companies and others, do not...

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What the Liberal Party Could Learn From Reddit

(8) Comments | Posted October 10, 2012 | 12:31 PM

Here's a short survey from the Liberal Party on foreign ownership rules for natural resources. There are two interesting things about this. First, foreign ownership of our natural resources, especially by state corporations of other nations, is an important issue Canadians need to talk about more. I'm not especially...

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It's An Issue of Precedent, Mr. Ford

(0) Comments | Posted September 6, 2012 | 3:34 AM

The latest in the lawsuit that alleges that Mr. Ford broke the Municipal Conflict-of-Interest Act (MCIA) for voting to let himself not be charged for failing to repay $3,150 in improper donations to his football foundation is just bizarre.

From the Globe and Mail:

"Like I said,...

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What Elections Are REALLY About, Mr. Goldenberg

(3) Comments | Posted July 19, 2012 | 12:31 PM

Adam Goldenberg has an opinion on strategic campaigning and he is off base in so many ways. Green party leader Elizabeth May has suggested that her party and the NDP refrain from running candidates in the Etobicoke Centre by-election.

But Goldenberg says:

Elections are not primarily about...

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Tories Hope You're Too Bored To Care About the Budget

(9) Comments | Posted June 14, 2012 | 4:11 AM

Right now, MPs are in parliament for an unprecedented marathon of voting on proposed changes and deletions to the omnibus budget bill C-38. If you've been sleeping under a rock for the past couple weeks or just don't find Canadian politics that riveting, then I don't understand you, but that...

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Elizabeth May: Exposing the Fauxmnibus Bill

(23) Comments | Posted June 8, 2012 | 4:18 PM

Maybe I'm starting to sound like a shameless Elizabeth May fanboy but that's only because...I'm a shameless Elizabeth May fanboy! How can you not be when she gets up in the House, as she did Monday, and makes an epic speech like this?

The main point of her "point...

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John Baird Should be Raked Over the (Carbon Tax) Coals

(6) Comments | Posted May 28, 2012 | 1:41 PM

It's rare that a government accused of undervaluing science and making policy decisions based on predetermined outcomes, rather than rational analysis, comes straight out and admits that's how they function. But recently, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird did exactly that.

"Why should taxpayers have to pay for more than...

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Can Elizabeth May Stop the Budget From Passing?

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2012 | 5:04 AM

Once again Green Party Member of Parliament Elizabeth May (I never get tired of hearing that phrase) is threatening to stand up for democracy and parliament when almost no one else will. She is planning to use what parliamentary procedures she can to slow the passage of the budget bill as...

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Would a More Fair Voting System Have Changed Alberta's Election?

(32) Comments | Posted April 24, 2012 | 3:59 PM

Monday's election results in Alberta demonstrate once again the strange outcomes that our First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) voting system can create. A difference in vote percentage between 43 per cent and 34 per cent leads to 61 v.s. 17 seats for the PCs.

Meanwhile, the remaining parties which received about 10...

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You're Wrong, David Frum

(28) Comments | Posted April 2, 2012 | 5:38 PM

A common response from many pundits on the recent Conservative budget seems to be: sensible, dull, uncontroversial. David Frum recently published his analysis and went a bit further asking whether or not this budget definitively proves that Canada is the "best-governed country in the advanced democratic world." He thinks it does. His question is...

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Time to Throw Mayor Ford's Plans Under the Bus

(2) Comments | Posted March 26, 2012 | 9:05 AM

My head just exploded after reading this article on Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's defeat of his pet subway plan. After losing fairly, 24 - 19 in council, the mayor had this response:

"Obviously the campaign starts now and I'm willing to take anyone on, streetcars against subways, in...

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Why the Media Has Mulcair All Wrong

(5) Comments | Posted March 26, 2012 | 1:15 AM

Last night the NDP chose a new leader, Thomas Mulcair. Mulcair was the most reformist candidate that was on offer but he was also not the biggest party insider among the candidates. So in a sense he represents a tradeoff between striking out in bold new directions versus staying the course...

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NDP Leader: A Vote I'm Happy Not Casting

(9) Comments | Posted March 22, 2012 | 5:17 PM

Democracy is the greatest sport on Earth. I feed on elections and leadership contests but I'm kind of glad I don't have a vote this Saturday in the NDP leadership convention. Since I don't have a vote I haven't spent as much time researching all the leaders as I could...

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The NDP Have Made Electoral Reform Sexy

(3) Comments | Posted March 1, 2012 | 1:36 AM

The NDP leadership race is heating up and the most interesting development to me is that there seems to be a competition growing for who can be the most concerned about the sorry state of our democracy and the most committed to fixing it.

Take Peggy Nash, her website...

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#TellVicEverything: The Government Getting What it Deserves

(8) Comments | Posted February 17, 2012 | 2:26 AM

Maybe you can help me figure something out: How is it exactly that the same Conservative government so against gathering information about law abiding Canadians that they crippled the long form census and scrapped the long gun registry, is now so eager to give police the ability to gather information about Canadians using the...

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